#1
I've been playing bass for several months now and my left hand ability has increased a fair bit, but I still can't pluck the god-forsaken strings fast enough with my right hand to even play the hell song! Am I doing something wrong? or do I just need more practice. Using two fingers works ok on the top sting, but I can't get it to work at all on other strings.
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#2
if you have only been playing for a few months then they will still be slow. just keep up your practicing and your speed will increase over time. for now concentrate on playing everything cleanly and even.

x
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Quote by Victory2134
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#3
so should i just halve the notes or something? or send my hand into spasms trying to play the intro.
Art is Vice. You don't marry it legitimately, you rape it...
-Edgar Degas
#4
practice it slowly first with a metronome, then increase the bpm slowly until you are up to speed.
could take hours, days, etc. you just have to be patient
#5
well, first, you smoke 2 joints in the morning, smoke 2 joints at night, smoke 2 joints in the afternoon, so you'll play alright.

lol jk XD i love that Toyes song......

i would play slow, but correct position for a small bit, stop, then go as fast as you can until you lose it, stop, repeat but go a little faster...thats what my teacher says
Try adding more delay.
#6
Quote by Tone Deaf
so should i just halve the notes or something? or send my hand into spasms trying to play the intro.


which song are you talking about? and no dont halve the notes, but pratice it at slower speeds until you can work up to the right level.

the key to being able to play fast is being able to play slowly with perfect accuracy,

x

EDIT: you might also want to think about getting a bass teacher. he/she will be able to tell you if you have bad technique.

x
Fender Geddy Lee Jazz
Warwick Corvette $$
Rockbass Streamer Fretless
Hartke HA5000
SWR Triad

Quote by Victory2134
I happen to enjoy every mankiss from shinhoman.
#7
Dont give up practicing with your fingers! But if you MUST play it, try using a pick. I prefer an old gift card cut into a large triangle, mess around until you find a good size....
#8
My jazz band recently had a master class with the "President's Own Saxophone Quartet", the marine corp saxophone quartet. One of them said, and they all agreed, the same thing as above. He said play the thing perfectly at least 5 time slowly and then crank up the BPM. It's all about muscle memory, if you mess up your muscles think thats the right way anyway so you need to train your muscles at this point to memorize the motion of two finger playing.

Edit: Paraphrased a bit to apply more to bass as opposed to saxophone.
Last edited by Valid12891 at Mar 15, 2009,
#9
Thanks for the suggestions on going slow and speeding up. Makes alot of sense.

I know I could use a teacher, but sadly that won't be an option until next year when I'm in college. Until that time, do you know of a good site where I can see a video or something of a guy demonstrating correct technique?

My hand is even more retarded with picks... it's sad.

I need a metronome badly, but never think about it when I'm in town. Where's a good place to buy one?
Art is Vice. You don't marry it legitimately, you rape it...
-Edgar Degas
#10
any music shop will have a metronome. even if they don't sell guitars. look on youtube for vids. search for bass finger picking lesson or something like that.
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#11
Aight, so Guitar Center should have one?
Art is Vice. You don't marry it legitimately, you rape it...
-Edgar Degas
#12
well, what i did:

when i first started playing with my fingers, i was slow as ****. so, i would just sit in front of my TV and pluck the strings over and over.

but then, when actually playing, after only about 30 seconds, i would feel a painful burning sensation - this tells you that your hand had yet to build stamina, play through the pain and within a month and a half you should be able to play fast with your fingers for a long time without any pain
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#13
my friend got one at guitar center that can't be fully turned off. just the sound is switchable while the graphics are always running. the battery hasn't died in the last 4 yrs though so it works ok.

There's a website with a metronome if anyone can remember it. you can use that til you buy one. I can't remember what it is myself.
dean edge one 5 string
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Quote by the_perdestrian
listen to revelation, for he is wise in the way of bass-fu
Last edited by Revelation at Mar 15, 2009,
#14
It burns in the top of my hand and my fore-arm when I try to play fast. Then my finger just stops moving. Like, my brain is telling it to continue playing, and it just sits there and twitches. And, because my right arm is so strained, I start tensing my left hand way to much D:
Art is Vice. You don't marry it legitimately, you rape it...
-Edgar Degas
#16
There are several good metronomes on line if you want a free alternative, btw.

on the fatique, its the same thing. Start slow and work up to speed. That way you will build strength and stamina at the same time. Make sure your tone and accuracy is right on before you moe up the speed. Speed is a by product of accuracy. Period. And keep your fingers and arm relaxed.
#17
Yes, keeping your arm relaxed is a key to building up strength. Straining it and keeping it tense is just going to cause you to lose stamina faster, meaning it will take longer to build up strength and accuracy, and then speed.

Have you thought about trying to adjust your strap so the guitar sits comfortably. I know what alot of beginner bassists try to do is to lower their bass all the way down for looks, rather than playability. Not only can this affect their playability, but could cause a long term health risk (Bad Posture/Bad Technique). For people with long arms, it is more acceptable, just for that reason. If you try raising your bass a little bit higher, you could gain better access to A, D and G, meaning a better picking technique.

Another thing, you could be getting tired by trying to achieve a loud volume by hitting the strings hard. Hit the strings soft. Get your volume through the amp. Means you hit softer, meaning you can play longer, and even faster.
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#18
Also remember that you're only as fast as your slowest hand- make sure you train BOTH hands for speed at the same time. This will increase your co-ordination, and as the ever wise Applehead says: Speed is a byproduct of accuracy.

In this case, the accuracy is between your two hands.
#19
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#20
play this in quarter notes, you can switch strings if you want
G|-1-2-3-4-2-3-4-5-3-4-5-6-4-5-6-7-5-6-7-8-6-7-8-9-7-8-9-10-8-9-10-11-9-10-11-12
D|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
use this metronome, http://www.metronomeonline.com/
and set it @ 80 your first time, then when you can do it perfectly increase the speed of the metronome until you can play 200 easily
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#23
@ Delirium
obviously making up your own patterns is the next step :p
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#25
Mootalica: I know, but when I'm trying to play fast, it's just so hard to keep it all relaxed. I am hitting the strings lightly though. I learned that lesson. As for the bass being too low, most of the time I play sitting down, so I wouldn't think it would be an issue of it being too low. Posture is a lost cause. Kyphosis for the lose...

Delirium: I know. I'm working on The Hell Song and several songs by Skillet to help my right hand speed and rythm, and working on Californication to increase my left hand dexterity, strength, and coordination.

I really don't know why I didn't think of an online metranome until after I asked that question. I'll still probably buy one later on, just cause it will be more convenient, but this will work great for now.

Thanks, SOB. That'll give me something good to work on. And I'll change it up so that it goes across both strings.

Song suggestions that have an intermediate speed and are demanding on the left hand as well are welcome, of course.
Art is Vice. You don't marry it legitimately, you rape it...
-Edgar Degas
#26
Most of the popular-with-bassists Muse songs would probably tick that box, New Born in particular. Looking at the tab, you'd think it was an exercise.
Good Times, Bad Times, by Led Zeppelin is good for the left hand and isn't too difficult.
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#27
Sitting down could actually be a problem.

Sometimes, standing is a better posture than sitting, especially when picking fast. Try standing up. It may feel a bit weird at first, the weight of the bass being on your shoulders as opposed to it on your legs, but you can get blood to flow better when your arm is straight as opposed to being bent over the bass.

That is out of personal experience anyway. I can play more accurately sitting, but I have about 4-5x more stamina standing, because of how I position my right arm (picking) due to my technique.

EDIT: I love Metallica, and most of Metallica's early stuff has got pretty intermediate bass lines with a lot of string changes, some are fast, some are slow.

Assuming you're a beginner at bass, I'll post a few good songs by them that you can play to help increase in accuracy with both hands, starting from easier to some of the more advanced stuff.

Nothing Else Matters (Black Album)
Enter Sandman (Black Album)
For Whom the Bell Tolls (Ride the Lightning)
My Friend of Misery (The bass intro to that [by Newstead] is a GREAT way to practice top string picking). (Black Album)
To Live is to Die (...And Justice For All)
Fade to Black (Ride the Lightning)
One (...And Justice For All)
Master of Puppets (Master of Puppets)
The Call of Ktulu (Ride the Lightning)
All Nightmare Long (Death Magnetic)
Orion (Master of Puppets)
Metal Militia (Kill 'em All)
Battery (Master of Puppets)
Blackened (...And Justice For All)
Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth) (Kill 'em All)

That is my list anyway. I can play all of those songs, not perfect, some I'm still working on some picking/timing issues, but I've got them fairly down well.

That was pretty much my order. They are placed on what I found to be more difficult, and may be different for you. But that is my Metallica list anyway, of what I would recommend.

Some of their other songs to look into would include:
The Day That Never Comes (Death Magnetic)
Cyanide (Death Magnetic)
Dyers Eve (...And Justice For All)
Seek and Destroy (Kill 'em All)
Jump in the Fire (Kill 'em All)
Creeping Death (Ride the Lightning)
Blitzkrieg (Garage, Inc.)
Damage, Inc. (Master of Puppets)
Quote by srvguitarrulez
I heard someone say that Fall Out Boy had amazing guitarwork. But, it was a 13 year old girl, so it didn't matter.
Last edited by Mootallica at Mar 17, 2009,
#28
The reason many players find standing up easier to play faster is because standing up you always use a strap and when we sit we tend to forget to use one. Always use your strap when playing whether standing or sitting down; this frees up your hands to pluck and fret and not support the bass.